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Say It Ain't So: Dan Bilzerian's "Company" Lost $50 Million Last Year & Is Likely Broke. Also, Somebody Else Pays His Rent & Bills

Karma -  action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman.

Forbes -  ...Such displays are modest. Bilzerian is holding back. Nowhere on his social-media feeds do you see Bilzerian lighting $50 million on fire, which is what the vaguely cannabis adjacent company he founded and serves as CEO, Ignite International Brands, Ltd., did last year.

According to the company’s annual report, filed last month at the Canadian Stock Exchange, where shares of Ignite are publicly traded, the company posted $67 million in losses in 2019.

(All figures in Ignite’s annual report are in Canadian dollars. And $67 million in Canadian dollars is about $50 million US, according to the latest exchange rate. All figures throughout the rest of this article are in Canadian dollars.)

How did Ignite manage to torch so much money? And aside from Ignite’s investors, and the institutions that offered the company’s line of credit, whose money was it?

Linda Menzel, Ignite’s general counsel, who is listed as the contact on company press releases, did not return several emails seeking comment for this story.

If we're being honest with each other here, which I think we can since we're all in the circle of trust here, I don't think this comes as a surprise to many people. 

Maybe the bimbo's that fall for Dan and his leecher friends schtick, but not anybody with a brain or that knows how to read.

But the company’s annual report speaks volumes. So let’s hear what it has to say.

Ignite “made” money in two ways last year. The company issued and sold shares of its company stock, and the company also raised money via debt.

As per its annual filing, Ignite recorded $25 million from “proceeds of issuance of shares,” $19.9 million from “convertible debt,” and $23.7 million from a “short-term promissory note.”

That is, Dan Bilzerian’s company has (had) a lot of other peoples’ money.

With that money, Ignite went on a spending spree, even as its stock tanked.

The company claims to operate in Mexico, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom as well as the United States, where Ignite-branded CBD products are supposedly available in stores.

In addition to CBD-infused toothpicks and nicotine vape juice, Ignite markets water, vodka, and clothing.

(Pointless anecdote: I cover weed and CBD for a living. I live in an area absolutely saturated with CBD products. And I do not think I have ever seen an Ignite product out in the wild.)

If you have Instagram you're probably familiar with Ignite

Either from being bombarded with their "ads" or from the who’s-who of "model influencers" sporting their barely there bikini's. 

As seen here -

Ignite hosted lavish parties, threw events, and did all kinds of stuff a company flush with cash does. Parties with platoons’ worth of models are expensive!

In 2019, Ignite lost $43 million on operational costs alone, mostly marketing and promotion, leases on offices, and compensation for staff and executives.

But what a year it was. In 2019, Ignite’s budget for “marketing and promotion” was $22.26 million, or more than twice what the company managed to register in sales revenue.

For every dollar in sales ($9.6 million) the company spends almost two dollars on general and administrative costs ($18.4 million).

This may offer the best explanation yet for how Bilzerian funds the lifestyle, for which he is famous, fame which in turn funds his lifestyle—the “perpetual status machine” at which he is (for now) the center, as VICE put it in 2015.

Complicating all of this is the unavoidable fact that Dan Bilzerian receives at least some of his fortune from his father, Paul Bilzerian, a felon and Wall Street fraudster whom the Securities and Exchange Commission says owes them (that is: owes you, the American taxpayer) $62 million.

If you're unfamiliar with Danny's daddy I highly recommend reading that WSJ article for a crash course on just what a remarkable piece of shit he is. Convicted of defrauding people out of tens of millions, ordered to pay back $62 million by the courts, to which he said fuck you - 

"Look…the government hates me. I get it," he said. "I despise the people in the government. We despise each other."

He added: "I would rather starve to death than earn a dollar to feed myself and pay the government a penny of it."

While doing time he concocted a scheme with his wife to sell their 28,000 sq ft Tampa Bay mansion to a holding company they owned for bail money to spring him from jail, then fled to St. Kitts where he is hiding out refusing to pay his debts. 

In the meantime, he setup a quagmire of shell companies and trusts for his son that he's been living off of. Guiltlessly flaunting over the past decade. 

Long story short, it sounds like the apple indeed does not fall from the tree. 

Except for the fact that I don't think Dan is guilty of defrauding any investors. I think he found some of the dumbest motherfuckers on the planet, and/or desperate, and played to their desires to be cool, get girls, or whatever it is that people with money that don't know how to spend it look for in life.

Promises of boat parties full with h̶o̶o̶k̶e̶r̶s̶ "influencer models". Social media fame. Invites to high stakes poker games. Who knows. 

Sure his business plan would be high comedy to look over. 

But back to Ignite. If the models, yachts, cars, guns, and stacks of cash that populate Bilzerian’s Instagram feed are in any way related to his company—and seeing as the models, and his house, and his jet all bear the goat-horned logo that’s Ignite’s brand, there is a good chance that they are—and are paid for with company cash, the answer to “how does Dan Bilzerian do it?!” is simple.

Like any good businessman, it seems Bilzerian sticks someone else with the bill.

Bilzerian, who owns at least a stake in other companies headquartered in Montana and Nevada, according to public records, also used Ignite as an ATM.

Ignite cash went to pay salaries, licensing fees, business expenses, and travel expenses for companies “owned by the CEO,” according to the report.

How much of all this Ignite chose to share with its shareholders and the holders of its debt until the annual report was released, only the company can say. But it’s fair to declare that the company publicly said it was doing one thing, while it (or Dan Bilzerian, who can say) did another.

This is where the author of this article from Forbes, Chris Roberts, and I differ in opinion. 

I don't think it's been any secret whatsoever to shareholders what Dan and co. have been doing with funds. Since day fuckin 1.

The guy spends money like it's Brewsters Millions.

(sidebar- if you haven't seen this movie somehow, do yourself a huge favor and watch it tonight. It's a gem. And very applicable here.)

He literally looks for ways to pay the highest priced girls, to fly to him at the most hard to get to exotic locations, and sail on the biggest boat he can find. 

I refuse to visit any of his direct social media channels, but there's plenty of posts of them rolling around in money and doing plenty of other shit to make the terrorists hate us. 

All on somebody else's dime.

“The Company will need to raise capital in order to fund its operations and continue its existing and prospective expansion into strategic markets. This need may be adversely impacted by uncertain capital market conditions, including those created by the COVID—19 pandemic, an inability to secure strategic partnerships in key markets, and an unfavorable perception of the IGNITE brand,” wrote the company’s Board of Directors, before warning investors that the whole thing might be ready to self-immolate.

“Although the Company has been successful in the past in obtaining financing, there is no assurance that it will be able to obtain adequate financing in the future or that such financing will be on terms that are acceptable to the Company,” they continued. “The uncertainty of the Company’s ability to achieve profitable operations and its success in raising additional capital funding may cast significant doubt on the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

That same prognostication—failure is imminent—was also the analysis offered by the accounting firm that reviewed the company’s books.

Ya think guys? 

At least some of the money Dan Bilzerian will use to keep Ignite afloat is also your money. The company reported receiving just short of $1.2 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans from the Small Business Administration. Ignite “intends on applying for loan forgiveness,” the company said.

Okay. An enormous marketing machine, that didn’t really sell anything. A brand, that its own directors worry may be toxic, floated by debt and investors. Is that all there is behind Dan Bilzerian’s company?

Gotta love it. 

Burned through all the chump investors money so why not burn through tax dollars now too?

Which brings us to the latest news.

Danny didn't like Ignite's president questioning his spending and looking into his finances. And he definitely didn't like him telling Danny he wasn't allowed to classify PPP money as "miscellaneous income" so he did what all spoiled rotten scumbags that don't get their way do, and fired him.

EIN Presswire - The former president, Curtis Heffernan, also claims in his Superior Court lawsuit that he refused to misclassify a Paycheck Protection Program government loan as “miscellaneous income” on Ignite’s balance sheets. Forbes reported on Tuesday that Ignite lost $50 million last year and is likely to fail.

“He traveled the world with a harem of models that would make Hugh Hefner jealous, expecting that the company would cover it all,” said Heffernan’s lawyer, Tamara Freeze, founder of the employment law firm Workplace Justice Advocates, which filed the complaint with Lim Law Group.

However, an outside auditor flagged the models, and nearly $1 million of the company’s money as suspicious expenses, such as lavish trips and a $18,000 liquor tab for a Valentine’s Day party, Bilzerian expected the company to quickly rubber stamp them as “business expenses” -- and when Mr. Heffernan refused to do that and participate in financial fraud, they fired him.

Forbes - The mansions, the yachts. The parties—the mdfddffodels. How does Dan Bilzerian, the globe-trotting, cash-stacking, gun-toting, Instagram-boasting partying playboy do it? Or, more to the point: How does he pay for it all?

According to a lawsuit filed this week, he doesn’t. Dan Bilzerian rents his house, and charges the rest of his six-figure lifestyle to a credit card that someone else pays off.

The lease on his home in the ritzy Los Angeles hills, for example, is $200,000 a month. Dan Bilzerian does not pay this rent.

The house and everything else—the models, the flights, the yachts, etc.—is charged to the corporate tab of Ignite International Ltd., the company Bilzerian founded and serves as CEO and majority shareholder, according to Curtis Heffernan, Ignite’s recently ousted former president.

In a statement issued to TMZ, Bilzerian denied the allegations in Heffernan’s suit and vowed to counter-sue.

However, former Ignite employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing professional repercussions, confirmed much of what Heffernan claimed in his suit.

“Ignite pays for everything,” one said. “Models, events, yachts. Dan would just have it wrapped with the Ignite logo, and all of a sudden it was an Ignite expense and he would send them the bill.”

“Pools, trampolines,” the employee added, “his ‘personal events’ that had nothing to do with the business.”

I genuinely think Danny sees nothing wrong with any of this. 

I think he's that hollow and morally bankrupt.

And that's not just based on assumptions made from being subjected to his constant barrage of flaunting money he didn't come close to earning.

That's based on multiple accounts from girls I know that were "recruited" by his buddy/manager Jimmy to go on trips with them and friend Billy and then swiftly sent packing after arriving and not agreeing to partake in "activities".

Trouble arose in May 2020. Red flags were first raised by the accountants doing the books in preparation for Ignite International Brands’s annual report, required by the Canadian Stock Exchange, where shares of the company are publicly traded.

According to the suit, the accountants flagged $843,014.06 in company expenses that appeared to be “personal in nature.” These included payments for charges racked up on one of Dan Bilzerian’s credit cards: a half-million dollar yacht rental; a six-figure, two-night trip to London; a $65,000 “Four Elements Guns & Star Wars Set”; a $50,000 bed fame, a $75,000 paint-ball field, an $88,000 vault, “to name a few.”

The company also paid $26,000 to boost Bilzerian’s Instagram followers and paid for the travel expenses of the rotating cast of models that permanently accompany Bilzerian wherever he goes, the suit claims.

Heffernan was pressured by other company executives and members of Ignite’s board to sign off on the expenses as legitimate business charges, he claims. “Suspecting fraud,” he refused.

According to the suit, Heffernan tried to convince Bilzerian to at least dump the $200,000-a-month mansion—because, after all, the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Southern California hard, and how can you have splashy marketing events with social distancing requirements?

“At that point,” the suit claims, Bilzerian “jumped in as Chairman of the Board and said: ‘I’m going to be doing some summer pool parties and will utilize the house.’” The next day, Bilzerian accused Heffernan of using drugs during a company meeting, according to the suit, and fired him on June 8, 2020.

  

$26,000 on Instagram followers? 

How? What? Who? Where? When? Why?

See, Brewster's Millions I'm telling ya.

This whole thing stinks like shit and the lawsuit is the least surprising thing I've ever read. Hopefully, the people whose money was burned through are able to survive knowing they'll never see a cent of it. 

Hopefully the legion of losers that look up to this guy read for once instead of ogle at staged photos on Instagram and wake the fuck up. 

p.s. - Does anybody know where I can find these people are that invested in this guy? Would LOVE to have a talk.

p.p.s. - Looks like these poor girls are going to have to go back to finding the cure for cancer since they can't model for a fake CBD company anymore.